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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26753
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I recently had a NY DWI, after a collision with a

Customer Question

I recently had a NY DWI, after a collision with a motorcycle. I was at fault. I blew a .21. I failed at the scene to take the breath test, but did so at the station. They slapped me with six tickets including a assault charge. I hired an attorney and he
assured me everything would be ok. We had our first arraignment last night. He asked for a pringle hearing and the judge granted it, but the judge also took my license and said we can apply for a hardship on Thursday at the hearing. The lawyer also mentioned
to me the DA talked about pushing this to a felony, like trying to scare me. The other people had no broken bones. Just soreness but went to the hospital. I feel like the lawyer is just trying to get more money or something. This is my first offense and I
am a business owner. I am devastated over this. I was honestly expecting to have this all cleared up last night. What are your thoughts?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced New York criminal lawyer.
You were driving with almost three times the legal limit of alcohol in your system and you caused an accident in which people were injured besides. In my experience, it is not unreasonable for the DA to hold off long enough to see if a felony assault charge is in order. Many times, injuries appear to be minimal, but problems manifest themselves later on.
Your lawyer is obligated to convey any offer that the DA makes to you. Right now, it would appear that no offer is forthcoming because the DA may be able to seek an indictment. Under the circumstances you have described, I have no reason to believe your lawyer is lying to you just to pad your bill.
If the injuries are minimal this case will remain a misdemeanor, but if the state can come up with something to present to a grand jury to get an indictment, I can assure you that they will.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I understand, yes they said they want to speak with the person on the motorcycle, who Ive been told had no broken bones. My next court appearance is the pringle hearing on Thursday, where I hope I can get a hardship license. What are the chances of this wrapping up then? What if I just change my plead to guilty? I just want to get this over with. I acknowledge my mistake and dont want to go to prison!
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
I don't see a chance of wrapping up the entire case at the Pringle hearing. That's just to get an immediate determination of the hardship license.
I understand that you'd like to get on with your life. Spending a day in criminal court waiting for your lawyer and your case to be called and being treated like a criminal is no fun. But assuming that you took a plea to the DWI -- you could get an offer from the judge even if the DA doesn't give you one -- there is still the matter of the assault, where the DA is not ready because they have given notice that they may indict.
Additionally, there are potential civil ramifications here, since a plea of guilty and/or various other statements made in criminal court will affect your civil liability if the victims sue you for more than your insurance will cover.
So waiting in order to wrap this up in the best possible package is what's in your best interest, even if over the short-haul, it's very inconvenient for you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How long does it usually take to be "indicted"? So, even if the other party says she was not hurt and seeks no further ramifications the DA can still indict? Is there a certain amount of time? Do you think they will grant this hardship license? I have a 3rd party coming with me as requested by my lawyer. Is there ANYTHING in my favor? Being a first offense? Something?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
The state has to be ready to proceed on a misdemeanor within 90 days or to indict within 6 months, or the case can be dismissed on speedy trial grounds. The 90 days/6 months is not necessarily 90 or 180 consecutive days. The speedy trial clock stops and starts. The days that count towards speedy trial are the ones where the only person not ready to proceed is the DA.
On a first DWI you would generally get a hardship license. The issue is how soon your license will be suspended and how soon you'd get one, and that's the reason for the Pringle hearing.
You'd need to ask your lawyer what your chances are of winning the hearing. He has to try to rebut the state's paperwork and the BAC findings, and he's in the best position to know what he's got to work with. It's very rare that Pringle hearings get won, but your lawyer can get substantial insight into your case from the hearing, and successfully establish the grounds for a hardship license, whether you win or lose the Pringle.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My last question, do you believe I will have a hardship license after the Thursday hearing? If I heard the judge correct, my license is already suspended.....
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
Did your lawyer ask for a stay of the suspension? If so, you may still be able to drive right now. You need to ask your lawyer.
As to the hardship license, I cannot, of course, predict the future. It's a first arrest, however, and if you can demonstrate a real hardship without your license, the odds are high that you will be granted one.
If you are found eligible for a hardship license, you will get one after 30 days of your arraignment on the charges. So if you're asking whether you will walk out with an immediate hardship license, the answer is no. But you will know if you're approved for one.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, I dont believe he did.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
Generally, one reason for the Pringle is to hold off the immediate suspension, so check with your lawyer. You may have driving privileges until the hearing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In your experience with something like my situation do you see them charging me with a felony?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In your experience do you see them charging me with a felony?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
Sorry for the delay. I stepped away from the computer.
The answer depends on the strength of the state's case. If the DA believes he can make out all of the necessary elements of a felony charge, yes, of course, you will be charged with a felony. If the DA does not believe his case is strong enough to proceed as a felony, he will proceed with the misdemeanor.

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